Is Abortion Murder?

An article in New Oxford Review by Richard Stith in November, 2005, compares the dismemberment of the child in the womb to what our reaction would be if we had a constitutional right of dismember our grandparents. Is it enough to call abortion murder? When other murders of a particularly horrific method are committed, we use such adjectives as “brutal”, “gruesome,” “cruel,” “vicious,” etc. But abortions are different from other murders, because the victim is an innocent and helpless child. Pope Benedict XVI called abortion “a true war of the mighty against the weak.” Doesn’t this make it worse than ordinary murder? Don’t we feel a deeper compassion when we hear of the killings of the very old, very young or disabled?

The worst facet of child killing – or grandparent killing – is betrayal. It is worse for someone in the family to do the killing than for a stranger, because the evil of betrayal is added to the evil of murder. The author of the article referred to a pro-life sign he had seen in the Ukraine, when he was teaching there. Rather than saying “Do not kill me, Mommy” it said “Do not betray me, Mommy.”